LAKE WALES, Fla. (WFLA) — A World War II veteran celebrated two special occasions in Florida on Saturday — his 95th birthday and his 50th skydive.
Hector Hita Sr. served as a pilot in the U.S. Army’s 11th Airborne Division from 1945-1947, but he wasn’t finished flying yet. His son, Vince Hita, said that when he surprised his father with a trip to Lake Wales, Florida, for his landmark 50th jump, his father had tears in his eyes.
“I told him this past Monday, and as I told him about it, his head and shoulders dropped, then he looked at me teary-eyed,” Vince Hita told News Channel 11’s sister station WFLA in Tampa. “I remember that feeling when in September 2016; he told me I was going with him and other Elks Club members to Pearl Harbor for the 75th anniversary of the attack.”
The older Hita suited up in his American flag shirt and harness and took flight.
On the flight up before the jump, the flight instructor asked him, “Guess what? Only halfway up right now! Still wanna do it?”
Hita Sr. responded, “Yes!”
Video shows the 95-year-old with a huge smile on his face as he and the flight instructor floated through the sky during the tandem skydive (when two people strapped to each other jump out of a plane together).
And of course, his family was on the ground cheering him on as he stuck the landing.
“Would you do it again?” The fight instructor asked after they made it back to the ground.
Hita Sr. just laughed and said, “Yeah! OK!”
Then the flight instructor asked him what was the most exciting part of skydiving, he answered, “That was very good. You’re a good driver!”